When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision- should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom, a richly animated personal narrative, tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice

• Watch the film on Kanopy

• Watch the film On GuideDoc

• Nominee, Best Short Documentary Subject, The 88th Academy Awards 2016

— With our classmates, L-R:
Documentary (Short Subject) nominees Jerry Franck and Courtney Marsh, “Chau, Beyond the Lines”, Adam Benzine, “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”, Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, “Last Day of Freedom”, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” and Bryn Mooser and David Darg, “Body Team 12”prior to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Week: DOCUMENTARIES event on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

• Winner, an Emmy Award

News and Program Specialty: Documentary -Topical at the 45th Annual Northern California Area Emmy® Awards

• What they’re saying…

… The most idiosyncratic and moving documentary, rendered in black-and-white line drawing, is the agonizing story of Manny Babbitt […]  As directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, Mr. Babbitt’s story is told by his brother Bill, who had to decide whether to cover for his brother or turn him in. It will break your heart.
New York Times

My personal favorite of these five shorts, Last Day of Freedom is a real outlier among not only the nominees this year, but also most nominees in this category’s history in being animated. […] On top of that, the Academy could hardly choose a more topical winner in the wake of the prominence of Black Lives Matter and our criminal justice system in the American political dialogue.

… The standout in the documentary category is the animated “Last Day of Freedom.” An African-American named Bill Babbitt is portrayed in simply drawn lines as he tells the story of his brother, Manny, who served in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart, only to be executed later on for murder after his PTSD went untreated. The film is not only timely in its example of both the military’s neglect of battle-worn soldiers and racial injustice (“Brother, these are good cops,” Bill had told Manny), but Bill is also a wonderful storyteller, keeping you engaged with his emotional and nearly poetic recollections. And then, well after he wins you over, additional facts revealed before the closing credits will break your heart.
The Wrap
I would put my money on this film at least as one of the five nominations to be announced on January 14. As far as I can see so far, it should be the winner.
IndieWIRE Sydneys’ Buzz

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To see what else we are doing, please check Living Condition Films 

• Last Day of Freedom won several  SIMA awards:
Best Directors, Best Editing, and Stylistic Achievement Award:

Documentary Short category

Social Impact Media Award

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• Support

Creative Work Fund, Cal Humanities, Center for Cultural Innovation, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), Left Tilt Fund, UC Santa Cruz Art Research Institute, San Francisco Arts Commission, UCSC Committee on Research, Pacific Pioneer Fund, Embrey Family Foundation

• A ‘making of’ video

For a complete ‘behind-the-scene’ video and article, see this link to indieWIRE